Time started running out for María Gorrostieta almost as soon as she was elected mayor of Tiquicheo, a rural district southwest of Mexico City, in 2008. The area, much of it tangled with tropical vegetation, hosts wild boar, possums, coyotes and even jaguars. But it is also home to opium, cannabis, methamphetamine laboratories and the people who sell the produce – ruthless drug cartels.
Gorrostieta’s no-nonsense manner and, above all, her courage in the face of persistent threats, proved too much of an obstacle for the region’s narcotics mafia. Last week her corpse was discovered lying at a roadside.